Technology Networking & Internet

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Today, if you depend solely on your goodwill or mouth-to-mouth advertisements, you may end up losing your customers to your competitors. If you do not want this to happen, there is one advertising medium, which you can no longer ignore to give tough competition to other companies, is the Internet. In the vast world of Internet, the free search results of the search engines probably get the maximum amount of visibility.

However, the users usually do not get past the first two or three pages of the search results so the higher your website appears the better. Now, unlike in the television and print media, you cannot buy spaces for your websites on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN unless you participate in their paid advertising programs. Quality is the key factor to determine the position in which your site will appear. Therefore, having an attractive website is not enough.

Your website must be optimized so that it appears in good positions on a search engine. Below, I have discussed a few simple techniques about search engine optimization (SEO). You can try optimizing your site yourself with these tips or look for an SEO expert to implement them. You can also check if the site of the SEO expert themselves follows these tips before recruiting them.

First, you need to have a clear idea about the factors that determine the positions of different websites. Remember, the search engines like unique, precise and error-free content, good on-site navigability (providing a site-map ensures this), a short page-loading time and incoming links to other high-quality sites. The more precise and clear-cut the content, the easier it will be for the search engine spiders to crawl your site and determine its purpose.

The same is true about how easy it is to navigate from one page to the other. Search engines do not like pages that take a lot of time to load as it means a bad user-experience. Search engines also look at the fact, if other high quality sites are linking to your site.

Address the problem of broken links if you have one on your site. A broken link ensures a very bad user experience and lowers the credibility of the website considerably. To run a search-engine-friendly site, your site should be online 24/7 and your webmasters should always be on their toes to avoid any downtime.

While developing or optimizing your content, remember to include popular and highly relevant keywords in it. Keywords are the search queries on which your site appears. For example, if a user searches on 'rose' on a search engine, all websites that use the word 'rose' repeatedly on their sites will show up. Here 'rose' is a keyword. Don't forget to check out which keywords are searched most often by using a keyword suggestion tool such as the Google keyword tool. Use the keywords meaningfully and sparingly on your site.

It is not advisable to have any content on your site that will require the user to download additional programs to access it. It is usually okay if you require the users to download flash player, as it is free and has a very small file size. Remember, the users do not like the idea of downloading a heavy file and therefore, the search engines also do not encourage this practice.

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